Express & Star

Stafford Rangers 0 Morpeth Town 2 - Report

Strikes from Andrew Johnson, Liam Noble, and Fenton John sent Stafford Rangers winless in their last ten Northern Premier League games.


Matt Hill’s side were unable to find a goal, losing 2-0 against Morpeth Town AFC at the Stan Robinson Stadium and remain the league’s lowest scorers with 11 goals.

The Rangers remain 21st in the standings with eight points so far this season and sit six adrift of safety having taken two points from a possible 30.

Stafford had shouts for an early penalty turned away in the 12th-minute as striker Nathan Blissett was grappled in the box. The forward headed wide four minutes later which was the first opening and effort of the game.

Morpeth thought they had scrambled the ball home for the opener just after the 20th-minute from a corner, but the linesman’s flag saved Stafford with the ball previously crossing the line out of play.

Liam Noble blasted his free-kick effort over the bar much to Stafford’s relief as Cameron Belford faced no challenge in the 36th-minute.

Manager Hill was then booked following his frustrations as Blissett took another arm to the face before Fenton John forced a first save from Belford for Morpeth. The away side aggravated the home side throughout with their game-management giving them the edge.

Blissett edged closer to finding the opener just under three-minutes from half-time as his header sailed narrowly wide before Andrew Johnson’s additional time strike then gave Morpeth the lead. Defender Jake Moult’s lingering foot helped William Jenkins’ cross fall kindly for the away side’s top-scorer who finished low into the bottom right corner past Belford from around the penalty spot.

The second-half commenced with a scrappy start as the Rangers nearly bundled the ball over the line in a goal-mouth scramble, and as the autumn blue skies dimmed it became darker on the pitch for Stafford on the hour mark.

Liam Noble finished brilliantly into the bottom right corner from outside the box to cap off a fantastic team move with passes in behind the Rangers’ defence.

Joe Willis tried his luck from afar for Stafford but fired high and wide before Fenton John added more pain blasting home a third for the away side. Further well worked build-up play led to John taking the ball on the turn before immensely finding the top right corner.

Edy Maieco was off-target from close-range for the Rangers as Aaron Braithwaite and Kaiman Anderson forced late saves from Daniel Lowson, but weren’t able to claw back a consolation goal.